I just got off the phone with a friend who’s getting tired of Facebook. She owns a business. We spoke about Ello. What does she need to know marketing-wise?
The Ello scoop
There are several reasons why Ello, the new and increasingly popular social network, is being hailed as the anti-Facebook. For one, its minimalist, ad-free interface stands in stark contrast to Facebook’s design. Secondly, Ello has done away with many annoying and controversial policies that are driving more and more people away from Facebook. On the surface, Ello doesn’t appear to be very different from other social networks – it doesn’t provide new or innovative ways of organizing contacts, discovering content, or enhancing your social media experience. What Ello does provide is a platform that is something of a hybrid of Twitter and Tumblr. You can mention people in posts with the “@” symbol just like on Twitter, and you can post photos along with written thoughts, just like on Tumblr.
What makes Ello different from Facebook marketing is the network’s primary focus. Ello’s atmosphere is one that promotes people and content, not advertisements.
Below, you’ll find a list of the most apparent differences between Ello and Facebook.
1. No Ads
Unlike Facebook, Ello promises to stay free of advertisements forever. Ello’s philosophy is to protect, rather than harvest user data. Ello allows users to opt out of Google Analytics tracking. Ello also provides users with specific information about the specific ways it protects users’ private information. Rather than support itself through advertisement sales, the site intends to support itself through profile feature upgrades.
2. Invite Only
For the moment, Ello is accessible by invite only. Once accepted, each new registrant is given an allotment of 25 invites to pass on to friends. With a reported 35,000 people signing up per hour, however, those who wish to join the network may not need to wait too long to receive an invitation.
3. “Love” Button
Ello’s response to Facebook’s “Like” button is the “Love” button. While the Facebook version of the feature was introduced to help streamline Facebook’s data collection process, Ello’s version is simply a way for users to bookmark and share posts they like. Users don’t need to be concerned that Ello will use the information to sell them ads.
4. Personal Settings
Ello allows you to disable the public profile option, which will hide your profile to anyone not registered on the network. It should be noted, however, that those within the network will still be able to view your profile page and posts. Ello also offers a “delete” option, which will allow you to completely remove your profile from Ello. This is a feature that is missing on the Facebook platform, which has a much more complicated procedure in place for permanently deleting accounts.
5. Friends vs. Noise
On the Ello network, posts can be categorized as either “Noise” or “Friends”. You can categorize people on you friends list under these two groups to streamline your news feed. When the “Friends” tab is selected, you’ll only see important posts from your closest friends. On the “Noise” tab, you’ll see a grid-style page of posts that you can easily scan for interesting information.
One of the biggest differences between Facebook and Ello is that Ello allows its users to completely anonymize their identity. You don’t need to provide your real name or any other personal information when signing up. You can also choose to obscure your profile picture with Ello’s Facemaker tool, which will overlay the site’s logo over your image. Personally, I’m kind of on the fence with this one. Yes, everyone should have the right to remain anonymous, but I have the right to know the identify of those who I connect with. So long as I remain in charge, all is good.
While video posting isn’t available yet, users can postimages in .JPG, .GIF, and .PNG formats. Posts can be formatted with italics, boldface, and even bulleted lists. Ello provides a detailed support page with instructions for properly formatting your posts. Another fun feature Ello has that Facebook doesn’t is the ability to add emojis to posts.
8. Future Features
Ello still needs to catch up to Facebook with respect to several features, namely a mobile app and user blocking. The network does have plans for several features not available on the Facebook platform, most notably a “NSFW” (not safe for work) tag for flagging explicit content.
While Ello is still in beta, it doesn’t seem to be taking over Facebook marketing just yet. The ability to block other users is an important one, and will surely need to be included in future updates. With a host of attractive features to come in the near future, however, it’s definitely a social network to watch.
As of today, I’m still waiting on my invite. I’ll post an update after I’m in and have checked things out.
What about you? Will you hop on Ello?